A large number of volunteers donned gloves, picked up rubbish bags and walked to Anjuna beach to participate in a beach clean-up drive as part of Earth Day celebrations. The participants included young families, children and senior citizens from the local community and tourists residing in hostels in the area.
The volunteers toiled and collected almost 60 bags of mostly non-biodegradable garbage including plastic straws and cups, styrofoam containers, cigarette packets, plastic wrappers and more.
Speaking at a forum on pollution issues in Goa that followed the cleanup drive, associate professor of the Biodiversity Research Cell, Carmel College, Manoj Borkar said: “Whatever you throw in the sea, the sea throws it back at you. The dynamics of the sea is such that it will consolidate the waste and return it with tax.”
“For every morsel of fish you eat you are also eating micro-plastic – which is a carcinogen – heavy metals and land-based waste that are regularly flushed into the sea, including human faeces. Whatever you throw into the sea comes back to you on your plate,” he added.
Director of Carry Your Bottle, Ram Doultani spoke of his journey to source environmentally friendly solutions to the problem of plastic water bottles, which are ubiquitous in tourist hotspots like Goa. He first experimented with recycled plastic, but then decided to switch to stainless steel bottles as the best sustainable solution.
One of the organisers of the day, Ryan Volado said: “Social responsibility is not just a word to be thrown around lightly on social media. If you need to get something done you have to do it yourself first and pay it forward.”
The evening concluded with a jam session by local and interstate musicians.